JSA #79

Reviewer: Tim Stevens
Story Title: Lost and Found Part 2

Written by: Keith Champagne
Penciled by: Don Kramer
Inked by: Keith Champagne
Colored by: John Kalisz
Lettered by: Rob Leigh
Editor: Peter Tomasi
Publisher: DC Comics

Last month, when I reviewed this title, I commented that I could not really tell, without checking, that this was a “fill-in” arc written by someone else. This month, I figured out how. Man, does that Thunderbolt have a love for speaking in purple prose. I’m not sure if I missed that the first time out or it just developed this issue, but…wow, that is some verbose voiceover.

Unfortunately, that really took me out of the “Jakeem Thunder as Ruler” segment of the story. Another problem here is that it seems as though the momentum has dropped right out of it. The JSAers and their new Thunderbolt/Djinn friends finally make it to Jakeem, but there is never a sense of danger. Even when Jakeem turns the Thunderbolt on his former friends, it lacks an emotional pop for some reason. Perhaps it is because, two issues in, I still have no handle on Jakeem the Ruler. Thus, there is no sense of betrayal or corruption. One minute he was good, dreadlocked Jakeem, the next he was bad and bald. Mystery is fine, but he is such a cipher right now that he feels like a whole other character we’ve only just met. Thus, where emotion should be there is only vague disinterest.

The Mordru storyline, on the other hand, bumps along nicely this issue. Finally we get to see Sand step up and prove himself. I do not think he has been this well utilized since issue number 3 or 4 of the series when he faced off with Geomancer. I have liked him from the start, so it is a pleasure for me to see him used as something besides a figure to round out group shots.

Also a credit to that storyline: is it is the first time a DC book has shown how disruptive Spectre’s rampage against magic is. The wizard Shazam promised that it would be, but now we begin to understand how that is the case.

Art wise, as usual, Don Kramer continues to improve. I say, with no hyperbole intended, that I think you can look at each issue he has drawn, in sequence, and pick up on how he improves noticeably in each outing. He has more than proven himself on this title.